Technologies of sexiness: Theorizing women's engagement in the sexualisation of culture

Adrienne Evans, Sarah Christine Riley, Avi Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (SciVal)


‘Raunch’ culture and ‘porno-chic’ are examples of a dramatic rise in the re-sexualization of women’s bodies. Wrapped in discourses of individualism, consumerism and empowerment, and often excluding those who are not white, heterosexual and slim, this sexualization of culture has created significant debates within feminist literature with regard to the question of how to value women’s choices of participation in sexualized culture while also maintaining a critical standpoint towards the cultural context that has enabled such postfeminist sexual subjectivities. In this paper we contribute to these debates by presenting ‘technologies of sexiness’, a theoretical framework that draws on Foucauldian theorizing of technologies of the self and Butler’s work on performativity. The technology of sexiness framework conceptualizes a blurring between subjectivity and consumer and media culture and highlights the doubled movements in which agency is complexly enabled and disabled in relation to technology, performance/parody, multiplicity and recuperation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-131
JournalFeminism and Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2010


  • agency
  • mediated subjectivities
  • sexualization of culture
  • technologies of the self


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